U.S. Student Rape Case Findings Released

Court documents have been made public which provide the judge’s motivation behind the October 2018 sentencing of 47-year-old carabiniere policeman Marco Camuffo to four years and eight months in prison for raping an American student in September 2017.

The victim of abuse has just arrived in Florence to begin her semester abroad experience and was in the company of a classmate at a Florence disco when two carabinieri arrived to break up a fight.  Seeing the women were unable to find a taxi, they offered the students a ride to their downtown Florence apartment (which is illegal under Italian law), where the rape occurred in the hallway.  Afterwards, the girls called their advisor at school, were taken to the hospital (where tests showed they had had sexual relations) and in the morning later pressed charges.

Both young women – ages 19 and 21 – were intoxicated, with blood alcohol levels of 1.9 and 2% respectively (1.5% is the cut-off for a drunk driving offense in Italy), and were not in any condition to give consent to have sex with the policemen, which both cops said they had.

The district attorney stated in writing that the second policeman, 33-year-old Pietro Costa, testified that he heard the girl, age 21, who was with his colleague say, “no, no .. what are you doing,?” which contributed to the guilty verdict handed down for Camuffo.  On his part, Costa’s trial — which does not fall under “rito abbreviato” — a “speedy” court proceeding which Camuffo opted for which automatically results in a shorter sentence – will begin on May 10, 2019.  Costa has previously gone on record to say that it was the other policeman’s idea to offer a ride home to the students and that in his case sex with the 19-year-old was “consensual.”

The students have testified they were afraid to oppose the policemen’s actions because they were armed.  In the meantime, the pair have been suspended from service and are facing military trial.

To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.